Yes, yes, the rumours are true. The new Porsche 911 GT3 does NOT come with a manual gearbox. The idea is that if you want to go fast, which we’ll assume GT3 drivers do, you need to minimize gear shift times and the simple fact of the matter is, a PDK dual clutch system can disengage the clutch, pluck out the next gear, order up a burst of torque from the 3.8 litre flat six, and re-engage the clutch in less than 100 milliseconds all before you’ve even thought about moving a lever or pushing a pedal. And as an added bonus, a PDK equipped car drinks less juice.
That said, it’s still quite a lot of juice, at best the GT3 will do precisely 22.8mpg. But hippies won’t know that since the 911 vaguely resembles a VW Beetle – according to tie-dye enthusiast at least.
You might argue that removing the manual box from what is, supposedly the purists 911 is somewhat defeating the purpose, and you might be right. Or you might not be. You see, Porsche has done an extraordinary amount work getting the calibration of the GT3’s PDK box absolutely spot on and the outcome is a gearbox that apparently behaves like a sequential box from a GT3 race car, which may or may not make parking, reversing and other trivial car activities that don’t include driving briskly difficult, but no matter because on the track where the GT3 belongs it should be sublime. Fortunately the PDK behaves itself in automatic mode and is no less smooth or refined than the standard specification PDK system.
There are also some cool functions built in that allow the driver to have a bit of fun in the same way that he or she would with a manual gearbox equipped car. Pull both paddles, mash the throttle and shift up and the car will detect that you want to go a bit sideways and so it’ll do a ‘clutch kick’. This is good – unless you’re a bit ham fisted, then you’ll end up in a hedge and no doubt insurance companies will love that.
Similarly, according to Porsche if you want to take off “with more wheel spin than strictly necessary” – which lets face it you do, you poser – you can pull both paddles, give it some beans and then select first, this has the effect of dropping the clutch. Who said the Germans don’t know how to have fun? They’ve done all kinds of math calculations – 3×3, 2+2 etc. -, scribbling on bits of paper, and randomly shouting of the word “Scheiße!” lots – probably – just so the car will still do burnouts, drifts and general hooniganism. They’re a dedicated bunch.
Admittedly all of this work does seem a bit pointless when you consider that a manual ‘box would’ve been cheaper, it would’ve weighed 30kg less, and less people who aren’t necessarily Porsche customers would’ve been angry.
However, the PDK is obviously faster and allows for a launch control system, but more importantly it appeals to a wider audience so at £100,530 Porsche will undoubtedly sell more of these new GT3’s to more cashed up numpty’s who simply want a Porsche with a massive spoiler than previous models. Driving up car insurance around the co
We could probably ramble on about the PDK ‘box and reminisce about the good ‘ol days of manual gearboxes like the confused elderly would for years and years, until our stripy jumpers look about as fashionable as a James May and our nasal hair needs trimming. But it’s probably best we move onto something else.
How about the engine?
As you’d imagine there’s flat six living in the boot, it’s the 3.8 liter flat six from the Carerra S actually. However its been modified to produce more horsepowers. Porsche has given the GT3’s engine an intake manifold, a new valve setup, titanium conrods – mm titanium – and forged pistons. It’s also got a dry sump that allows the engine to withstand the many, many G forces experienced when the GT3 is pounding around the Nurburgring in under 7min 30sec – three seconds quicker than the Ferrari 458. These engine modifications bring the GT3’s redline up to a dizzying 9000rpm – NINE thousand! – where it produces 475hp. It takes just 3.5 seconds to fling the GT3’s lithe 1430kg curb weight to 60mph – thank the PDK here -, and its top speed is 196mph, so it’s quick, then.
The electric power steering has also been recalibrated for the GT3 and while it shares its hardware with the standard 911, apparently it’ll give more feedback and response.
This new GT3 also features rear wheel steering, which is both very complicated and very fascinating. Basically there are two electromechanical actuators tucked up inside the extra wide rear track that can alter the rear wheels’ steering angle by up to 1.5 degrees. The most fascinating thing is how the system varies with speed, at speeds of up to 31mph the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts and that effectively reduces the wheelbase by 150mm which makes the car feel more agile and edgy. Be a bit naughty and go over 80mph – on a circuit, not the road, obviously – and the rears steer in the same direction as the fronts, this effectively increases the wheelbase by 500mm which gives more high speed stability. How boffiny is that!?
Here’s a video of the new 911 GT3 in action…
Are you bothered by this new PDK only 911 GT3? Or do you just desperately want one? Let us know by tweeting us @CarhootsUK
By Aiden Taylor ( @AidenT_RD )